Hepatitis vaccine paucity imperils 864 lives
Sukkur’s Civil Hospital adding to patients woes
Unavailability of Hepatitis C vaccine in Civil Hospital Sukkur has imperilled lives of 864 registered patients.
According to health sources, all the public sector healthcare outlets in Sukkur district have been facing a severe shortage of hepatitis C vaccine.
Sadiq Barohi, a Hepatitis patient, claimed he was sent back untreated by the Civil Hospital administration due to shortage of hepatitis vaccine. “I was admitted to the hospital and remained admitted for five days but then was discharged without administration of the vaccine,” he informed 24news TV. He added that the hospital administration cited a shortage of hepatitis vaccine as the reason for his untimely discharge from the hospital.
Like Sadiq Barohi, hundreds of Hepatitis patients have been running from pillar to post for vaccine, although they are registered with the Civil Hospital since long.
Apart from scarcity of the vaccine, the hospital’s Hepatitis Control Programme is virtually dysfunctional. Patients complained that head of Hepatitis Control Programme Prof Dr Saleh Channa did not bother to examine patients. “Dr Channa seldom visits his office in the hospital leave alone patients examination,” they claimed and added that the situation is very pathetic and nobody is ready to take responsibility though billions of rupees have been spent on the programme annually.
When contacted, Sukkur Civil Hospital MS Dr Tasleem Khamisani confirmed shortage of Hepatitis C vaccine. He informed that almost 265 Hepatitis C patients visit hospital for vaccine on a monthly basis, out of total 864 registered patients. He, however, claimed that the hospital has tablets (3220) for Hepatitis C patients. The MS said that as many as 626 hepatitis B patients are registered with the hospital, of which 324 visit hospital for vaccine on a monthly basis.
He revealed that 18,840 tablets of Hepatitis B are available while the hospital has a stock of 4,985 vaccines for Hepatitis D patients.
He declined to comment when asked about Dr Channa.
People of Sukkur in general and Hepatitis patients in particular have appealed to PM Imran Khan and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to take notice of the unavailability of the vaccine and take foolproof measures for its ample availability.